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Blue Bloods: Heavy is the Head (2017)
Season 8, Episode 10
10/10
****
9 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Detective Baker is able to do some acting here other than usually having people enter or exit Frank's office. Here, she has been given the opportunity to work for someone within the department with whom she worked for some years back. The guy has now been promoted within the department. The question is did she solicit him for the position or was the reverse true?

A guy saves 3 women being held hostage only to be arrested himself on an outstanding warrant from another state. He proclaims innocence as Jamie and Eddie go to bat for him.

Danny plays games with a guy accused of taking a truck and threatening the driver of that vehicle. The sarcasm is beautifully done and the ending scene with Danny eating the donuts that the guy had originally sent him is most amusing.
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Wilson (I) (2017)
8/10
***
9 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Woody Harrelson gives a compelling performance in this year's film but the picture is spoiled a lot by the constant profanity by him and Diane Ladd, portraying his former wife.

Harrelson is just perfect as an odd-ball character seeking the meaning of life while desperately trying to form relationships with new friends as well as female companionship.

He meets up with his ex-wife who informs him that she didn't have an abortion years before but rather gave up the child for adoption. The two go to see the girl and find an obese, unhappy high school girl taunted by classmates.

They try to form a relationship with her and take her to Lane's sister. There, Lane's snooty sister discovers that the girl is telling everyone by phone that she is at a friend's house and calls police. Harrelson is locked up for 3 years and the daughter testifies against him with the kidnapping charge, egged on by her irate adopted parents.

Harrelson is released after doing his time and Lane informs him that she is moving to Australia with her sponsor. His beloved dog has died and he takes up with the girl who was watching the dog during his absence.

There is a very satisfying end to this film dealing with human relationships, rejection, the need to be wanted and ultimate triumph.
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Hawaii Five-0: Make Me Kai (2017)
Season 8, Episode 9
7/10
***
9 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Our heroes go after the boat after a woman survivor is found drifting along and to their shock, they find all the wealthy people on the boat dead. They soon realize that the folks succumbed to some kind of deadly chemical and that they have been exposed as well and have about 8 hours to live.

The make-up artist really deserves credit here for making Steve and Danny as sick as they look, but the other two characters quickly fade from the picture as Lou desperately tries to get them help along with the antidote.

Of course, that comes in the end with the complication of a bad storm raging.

For someone in training, Junior really looks like part of the team and who knew that Adam appears to be working with the guys in their escapades. Will Kono ever return?
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4/10
**
9 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Am still wondering why this 1942 film got the name that it did. It was idiotic to say the least and diminishes the brutal way the Indians were treated in the 1880s and before.

With Lucille Ball in it, you would know that the film would turn to comedy which was probably the best part of this inane film.

Part of the picture is the attempts by James Craig, who tried to help 3 Indians accused of stealing what was really theirs and winds up with a prison sentence, along with Cedric Hardwicke to break up the impending marriage between the Ball character and Dean Jagger. Some of the antics used to do this were funny especially throwing those itchy aunts down on Jagger at the wedding scene.

It doesn't take Ball long to realize that she is making a mistake and that her true love has become the Craig character.

This is one hour and nineteen minutes of sheer nonsense.
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Designated Survivor: Three-Letter Day (2017)
Season 2, Episode 9
9/10
***1/2
7 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Other than the bee-keeper and his wife's complaint regarding the FAA killing the bees, which turns into an argument between the couple, the episode was a good one as it focused on citizens sending letters to Kirkman.

The widow who claimed her husband was denied a medal for heroism leading to his death was a heartbreak. Imagine, in awarding him this honor, his commander-in-charge would tell her that her hero husband had an affair with his wife! Kirkman did the only diplomatic thing possible.

The third letter regarding an investigation accused of murder of course led to the man's innocence. Wait until you see who the real culprit was.

Of course, Mrs. Kirkman being possibly indicted is also dealt with.
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Pushover (1954)
9/10
***1/2
6 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Excellent film noir where Fred Mac Murray repeats his falling into evil as he did ten years earlier in the memorable "Double Indemnity."

In her film debut, Kim Novak already showed problematic acting as the moll of a bank robber who Fred, the cop, falls for and the two plan to get the money that her boyfriend had stolen in a bank robbery.

With the exception of "The Eddy Duchin Story," and "Jeanne Eagels," both films where she was terrific, Novak just doesn't put it over in the role of the moll.

The role of the moll would have been better suited for Dorothy Malone, who would cop a supporting Oscar two years later in the great "Written on the Wind." Instead, Malone is relegated in playing the nurse next door, who is Mac Murray's ultimate downfall when she keeps meeting him at the most inopportune time for him.

We have a real good suspense thriller here as other police begin to piece together what is really going on in discovering that Fred is the real culprit here.
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High and Dry (1954)
2/10
*
5 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Perhaps, one grade level above awful is this 1954 film where Paul Douglas is fooled when he ships cargo on an old freight with quite a motley crew on board.

First problem is that it was practically impossible to understand those Scottish brogues. The men spoke as if they had hot potatoes in their mouths. Ditto for the young lad whose Scottish accent was made even worse by his being rather nasal.

Douglas was not allowed in this part to show how irate he could usually become in motion pictures. We never get the opportunity to see his wife as we only see him on the telephone with her. Evidently, theirs is a troubled marriage, just like the entire film.

Douglas shows some compassion by film's end by the actions he takes to save this broken down ship.
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Blue Bloods: Pain Killers (2017)
Season 8, Episode 9
10/10
****
2 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Though another excellent episode, the governor of New York came across as a small-time hoodlum with mob connections. Not allowing for cohesion among state troopers and NYC finest is really asking for trouble. It was good that Frank set him straight but the governor did say that this isn't over and remember: The governor has the power to can the NYC Police Commissioner. Interesting to note that the new mayor was not in the episode but her aide was.

The episode was a good one as we show someone being stigmatized after paying their debt off to society. A child molester is beaten badly by a tenant in the building he lives in as the former fears for his children with this guy around. When it comes out that the former molester was looking for it, it just shows you how little help is given to these people, especially when they come out of prison.

Drugs in prep schools with a teacher part of the action was the other part of the episode. It just shows you that the drug epidemic knows no bounds and that innocent people can suffer a reaction when they come into contact with certain drugs. In what regard is our medical profession playing a role in the availability of these drugs?
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7/10
***
2 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
A potentially very good plot is ruined as the story goes on by confusion and that you reach the point that you really don't know who to trust anymore.

At least, by the end, you finally understand why Steve was conducting the flight at the air-show. They showed it at the beginning of the episode but quickly moved on to the story itself before finally tying things up at the episode's end.

For a guy not in the five-O group, Junior seems to be fitting in nicely and will there be romance with the new five-O lady?

As for the episode itself, just about everyone seems to be caught up in treachery and thievery. The same name guy was just a little bit too much to fathom and our ace pilot, killed during flying, was part of a drug gang. Who do you really trust anymore?
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Designated Survivor: Home (2017)
Season 2, Episode 8
9/10
***1/2
2 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Accurate or not, this is just what the series needed- get out of Washington and go where some of the action is really at.

The secret mission by Kirkman to Afghanistan was just what was ordered and meeting those two war-lords, you really didn't have to wonder which one was more anti-American. They were both just born with the hatred forming.

While back at home, Kirkman's two aides had to deal with two of their own revelations, the press secretary covering up for his brother and the weird adviser's on and off again marriage.

Notice that this episode was better since it rarely mentioned Kirkman's mother-in-law and her troubles. Those mothers-in-law shall do it all the time.
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6/10
**1/2
28 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Training pilots for flying bomb missions during World War 11 takes a back drop here in this 1942 film. Instead, it becomes a story of one pilot, a doctor, who gets upset stomachs when he is flying, to be supported by his commander, the latter flying with his father in World War 1.

Preston Foster was not exactly your leading man and the age difference between himself and Gene Tierney is obvious here. Too old to serve now, he becomes a pilot instructor for the army.

The film opens with the friendships made by British, American and Chinese flyers.

Matters are soon complicated when our fearful doctor falls for Tierney, Foster's girl.

Dame May Witty, the Brit's grandmother has still another opportunity to mourn as she did the same year in the memorable Oscar winner "Mrs. Miniver." As broken up as she was when her granddaughter, Teresa Wright, was killed in a bombing, she shows the exact reverse response being stalwart here when her grandson, brother to the doctor, is shot down and killed. She really exemplifies Britain's adage of keeping a stiff upper lip.

The picture is less than 90 minutes and the other flyers really fall by the waste side here.
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Stalker's Prey (2017 TV Movie)
6/10
**1/2
25 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The best character in this story is the father as he is never seen, described as an ogre for walking out on the mother and her daughters.

This lunatic happened to apply for a substitute teaching position for English in the school where the girl just happened to attend?

The story begins with the rebelliousness of the girl, cutting classes and going around with a boy that mother disapproves of. Of course, the lad is soon killed in a shark attack and the fiend witnesses this and comes along just in time to rescue our fair maiden. He becomes obsessed with her since she reminds him of a former girlfriend, who died in a car accident four years before thanks to him, when she wanted to break off their relationship.

This character is politically connected but his parents present a low profile in the film which turns out to be the best for them.

He starts following her around and eventually shows his violent tendencies. You just know that the shark will play a role by film's end. In classroom stint talking about Hester Prynne was ridiculous. Rate that lesson unsatisfactory and the picture in itself doesn't fall much behind.
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7/10
***
19 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Anthony Perkins does an effective almost like continuation of the Norman Bates character in this 1962 film. Sophia Loren is equally effective doing a Norma Desmond crack-up like character in the film as well.

Misdeed comes to the unhappily married couple when the plane Perkins is flying on crashes and he is thrown from the plane and survives. No one has to notice that so he literally returns from the dead and plots with Loren to get the insurance money. He promises her her freedom from him, only to go back on his word when she finally gets the money by saying that after all she lied and signed papers to get the money.

Gig Young is the reporter she meets earlier after he takes over the apartment of Jean Pierre Aumont who is fortunate enough to exit this film quite early.

Everyone is dancing about twisting in the era of the twist and there is that obnoxious little boy, a neighbor from quite the way, who sees Perkins and tries to be his friend.
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Hawaii Five-0: Kau Ka 'Onohi Ali'i I Luna (2017)
Season 8, Episode 7
10/10
****
18 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Much better episode than usual where you are led to believe that Kono will becoming back. Her husband, Adam, returns; of course, without her and as soon as he arrives, he becomes immersed with Steve driving, when Junior notifies Steve that he is suspicious of characters across the street from a bank.

This leads us to the inevitable bank robbery where everyone in the bank at the time is told to lay down on the floor.

The episode is engaging because after a while, you don't know who the cops and the real bad guys are. Naturally, bad guys were dressed up as police.

Chi did an amiable thing by tearing up the picture of the new girl on the force regarding her troublesome brother.
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7/10
***
18 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Even in the ring of criticism of this 1941 film, what's all the shouting about?

This is basically a run-of-the mill story that has been greatly over-rated through the years.

In my opinion, the film goes downhill rapidly when Juan, Tyrone Power, meets up with Rita Hayworth, who is nothing more than a seductive temptress here.

As a young boy, Juan showed his arrogance, his defiance and feelings of superiority. He goes off to Madrid comes home 10 years later, a success, though illiterate. Marrying his childhood sweetheart, Linda Darnell, and having a good life, he throws it all away when he meets up with the Hayward character, essentially a woman who gets bored easily and casts people aside like an old shoe.
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Designated Survivor: Family Ties (2017)
Season 2, Episode 7
10/10
****
18 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Just when I thought the show was faltering, this episode came along and it was by far the best one of the season so far.

Bonnie Bedelia seems bewildered but was her real relationship with Mr. Little.

Turkey threatened to throw the U.S. out of its bases and give them to the Russians instead. The Turkish leader rightfully came off as a real thug and the activist seeking his overthrow while staying in the U.S. came off as an urbane person, sensitive to the needs of others.

What made this episode extra good was the involvement of the family in it. Leo, the son, was really duped by that supposed nice new girlfriend of his, only to find out that she was brought in as a set up by that Turkish leader. I wonder if we've heard the last of that lawsuit going away?

The former president involved with the slain British parliamentary figure. That appeared pretty interesting. Secretary Moss, the former president, comes off like LBJ.
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Blue Bloods: Pick Your Poison (2017)
Season 8, Episode 8
9/10
***1/2
18 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The last sentence of the last scene knocked by rating from **** to ***1/2.

Mayor Lorraine is very little and she is willing to go to bat for an officer who smoked weed in Colorado, where it's apparently legal, but against NYC regulations which would give Frank no alternative but to dismiss the former hero police officer.

Plenty of prejudice is shown here where skinheads are on the loose in a predominantly African American neighborhood and one of the crew stabbed an elderly black man to death while yelling monkey and that he doesn't need a Jew lawyer defending him. Naturally, Goldman, shows up during the episode as the appointed attorney for the bigot.

Eddie arrests someone who refused to come to her aid and it turns out that he had humiliated her years before in a hazing incident gone viral. Jamie pleads with her that the guy should only get a desk appearance ticket. She complies but later on, when he is viciously attacked in his bar, and Jamie and Eddie enter, he is bleeding profusely on the floor and while he is turned around, she gave him a good solid kick probably further injuring him. Is this New York's finest? Yes, it was disgusting what he did, and even with his so called apology, what she did was totally unprofessional.
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10/10
****
16 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Outstanding 1962 film. There seemed to be a "Diary of Anne Frank" connection here with Richard Beymer and Diane Baker appearing in that magnificent 1959 film and Susan Strasberg, who appeared in the Broadway play as well.

Common themes are displayed in the film as in much of Hemingway's writings-World War 1, tragic ending romance, a wandering man in search for identity and moral behavior. The latter was well executed by Beymer, who is absolutely terrific here.

An all-star cast adds to this wonderful film. Jessica Tandy is memorable as the embittered, religious mother and Arthur Kennedy, her husband again shows what an underrated actor he was, as the conflicted doctor.

Paul Newman is well used in the bit part as a punchy ex-prize fighter, and along the way, Fred Clark, Dan Daily, Eli Wallach and Ricardo Montalban give memorable turns in this great film.

A story of coming of age is so very well done. Facing adversity when you grow older is a theme here, as well as that it makes you a stronger, more vibrant person.
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9/10
***1/2
12 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Great film fare with an all-star cast, each performer perfect for the role they were assigned in the film.

A comic blend of a bunch of gamblers, led by Humphrey Bogart, who stumble on Nazi spies in New York planning sabotage throughout New York and elsewhere during World War 11.

When the bakery owner of the cheesecake that Bogart loves to eat is murdered, his mother, Jane Darwell, has her suspicions and one thing leads to another in the discovery of the Nazi plot. Of course, along the way, Bogie is blamed for another killing and all murders are done by the usual diabolical Peter Lorre. As Nazi spies, Conrad Veidt and Judith Anderson are perfect for their roles, and that dress that Anderson wears shows once more her sinister ways. Ironically, though they weren't in scenes together, 2 years before this film, Darwell won the best supporting Oscar for a woman for "The Grapes of Wrath," besting Anderson for her memorable turn as Mrs. Danvers in the Oscar-winning film "Rebecca."

Frank McHugh and William Demarest provide comic relief in this film as well as the fast-talking but tough Bogart. Karen Verne is the girl forced to work for the Nazis as her father is in Dachau.

Even when the spy ring is exposed, the police have a hard time in believing Bogart even with Verne's back-up.
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Blue Bloods: Common Ground (2017)
Season 8, Episode 7
10/10
****
11 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
What makes this series so good is the human factor shown in law enforcement, and this episode was certainly no exception to the rule.

Frank having to deal with a community activist who claimed an incarcerated individual witnessed a correction officer killing another prisoner. The way Frank spoke at the church at the episode's end was poignant and came straight to the point.

Danny helping a woman coming to her aid when the widow is harassed by a new boyfriend and how he ultimately saved her life was wonderful viewing. When the woman tries to begin a relationship, Danny's expression that it's too soon for him to think about this was the human side at its best.

Jamie delivering a baby and when he comes to break the good news to the father, he sees a decrepit building where they reside and he is forced to report conditions to the Buildings Department, causing the couple to lose their home. How Jamie and Eddie then went out of their way to help the couple, going so far to secure employment for the new dad, really showed human involvement.
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7/10
***
11 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The only reason that I can rate this 3 stars is due to the comical content of the episode.

When the crew is looking to reduce Steve's stress for fear that it shall lead to illness, they hire a so-called stress expert who soon sees what Steve and the others go through in a day's work.

As for the crime they were investigating, I thought I was back in "The 3 Faces of Eve," with the only difference being that the person with several personalities was a killer.

With all due respect, the woman who played the stress expert should have plenty of stress to contend with given the amount of weight she was carrying around.
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Kismet (1944)
1/10
*
11 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Absolutely dreadful film of 1944 and ironically, the musical version some years later, was just as bad.

Marlene Dietrich is hopelessly miscast here. She looks acts just as if she is wandering around in a bewildered way. Ronald Colman gives his best but the writing and plot are just inane and utterly ridiculous.

Florence Bates looks like she is ready to take a chair out in front of a Bronx apartment building and chat with the other ladies of the building-1940s style. The cinematography and color are lovely but that's just about it. Just goes to show you what stars had to put up with when they were under contract to a certain studio.

Colman and Craig each disguised pretending to be someone else. The Craig prince character set out to pose as he did to find out the truth from his realm. The truth was that the film itself was just awful.
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The Wrong Crush (2017 TV Movie)
9/10
***1/2
10 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Well-acted drama where a girl, who was on drugs and drinking heavily, has turned her life around only to be victimized by revenge and a fellow student who has been hired by the parents of the girl who was killed in a car accident when our heroine was injured two years before.

Our heroine is on the verge of a college scholarship. A wonderful athlete, she has to contend with a mistrustful and alienated mother, and the parents of the girl who was killed in the accident. Though she has turned her life around, the group therapy psychologist claims that until she makes total peace with her mother, then and only then can she really move on with her life.

She has a boyfriend who becomes a little distant when she reveals her past to him. A new boy enters the picture and when the dead girl's parents realize they have made a mistake in hiring him to find out if she is violating her parole, all hell breaks loose when he kills the father and plants drugs in the high school locker of the boyfriend.

A wonderful film depicting redemption and ultimate victory over an adverse situation.
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Designated Survivor: Two Ships (2017)
Season 2, Episode 6
8/10
***
4 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Talk about having mother-in-law problems, President Kirkland's mother-in-law could very well prove to be an albatross around his neck. What was her direct connection to Little?

When that boat becomes stranded during a storm at a hostile country, tempers could easily go northward. The guy who played the designated commander was terrific. With it all, he placed duty for country above his personal interests with inevitable tragedy occurring by the end of the episode.

The way Kirkman spoke to the guy was admirable, but the latter refused to obey a presidential order and literally went down with his ship to safeguard American secrets which were on board.
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Stage Struck (1948)
6/10
**1/2
4 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Other than Nana Bryant, who has the bit part of an ailing, grieving mother, whoever heard of the rest of the cast? Is it any wonder, considering that they made a film where the plot seems awfully good only to be swallowed up. I am referring to when the detective said that events shall now move very quickly and they sure did, too fast. What were they trying to do save money? Everything comes into focus real fast as the two villains are quickly discovered for what they have done.

In addition, the end was too preachy. The detective saying to another if only these girls would stay home with their mothers instead of venturing out to the world unknown for glamour and ultimate stardom. These preachy lines show how outdated this film really is. Would girls listen today as they didn't in the 1940s?

A girl is shot to death and we never know the exact reason why it occurred. She had left home for the supposed glamour of life in New York City.

A friend reveals to the police where she had specifically gone. When the case seems to drag on, her older sister goes to New York and does undercover work leading her to the killers who owned both a so called professional school and nightclub.

Her spilling the beans to a drunken girl really put her in danger. Of course, the girl mouthed off but the police were there to capture it all. The film is too fast paced to capture my fancy.
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